James Blunt breaks down in powerful music video starring dying father: ‘We’re just two grown men saying goodbye’

Lyndsey Parker
Editor-in-Chief, Music

Singer-songwriter James Blunt is best known for his sentimental heartbreak ballads “You’re Beautiful” and “Goodbye My Lover,” but his latest single “Monsters,” a tribute to his ailing father, is his rawest and most poignant yet.

In his devastating new “Monsters” music video, an anguished Blunt, in an extreme close-up reminiscent of Sinead O’Connor’s iconic, one-take “Nothing Compares 2 U” clip, stares down the lens, his eyes welling up with tears, as he sings: “I'm not your son, you're not my father/We're just two grown men saying goodbye… So Daddy, won't you just close your eyes?/Don't be afraid, it's my turn/To chase the monsters away.” 

James Blunt breaks down in the music video for "Monsters." (Photo: Atlantic Records)

Blunt struggles to maintain his composure throughout the first half of video, so much much so that it’s almost uncomfortable to witness. And when the camera finally cuts to a wider shot, it becomes clear why he is so distraught, that he isn’t acting, and that his tears are very real.

Read more: James Blunt: I speak with a stupid accent but posh people have feelings too

Sitting stoically beside him is his real-life dad, former cavalry officer Colonel Charles Blount, who is battling stage 4 chronic kidney disease.

Last year on Good Morning Britain, Blunt spoke of his father’s serious illness and made a plea to possible organ donors, saying: "I've come on here to ask you what blood group you are. Some things have been going on in my life that I needed to write about.

“My father has not been very well, actually. He needs a new kidney and a kidney donor. And I've come on here to ask you what blood group you are. If you are an O-positive, I'll take it off you." (Blunt revealed that, sadly, he is not a match.)

James Blunt with his father, Charles Blount. (Photo: Atlantic Records)

On the same U.K. morning program, Blunt spoke of the experience of writing “Monsters” after learning of his father’s kidney disease, explaining: "Really that has been an amazing moment, because when you realise your father's mortality, it's a great opportunity to say the things I'd like to say to him.”

Fans, particularly those who have lost a parent or who are preparing to say goodbye to a sick parent, have taken to social media to praise the touching video, which went viral after William Shatner tweeted it to his 2.5 million followers.

All proceeds from Blunt’s “Monsters” single go directly to the charities Help for Heroes and the British Legion. The full lyrics for “Monsters” are below.

Oh, before they turn off all the lights

I won't read you your wrongs or your rights

The time has gone

I'll tell you goodnight, close the door

Tell you I love you once more

The time has gone

So here it is

I'm not your son, you're not my father

We're just two grown men saying goodbye

No need to forgive, no need to forget

I know your mistakes and you know mine

And while you're sleeping, I'll try to make you proud

So daddy, won't you just close your eyes?

Don't be afraid, it's my turn

To chase the monsters away

Oh, well I'll read a story to you

Only difference is this one is true

The time has gone

I folded your clothes on the chair

I hope you sleep well, don't be scared

The time has gone

So here it is

I'm not your son, you're not my father

We're just two grown men…